All About the RTO
The Government of India is responsible for maintaining the records of all the vehicles that ply the country's roads. For this purpose, it has set up a regional transport office in every state and city.
But what exactly is the Regional Transport Organisation, and what does it do?
Regional Transport Organisation
Every state and city in India has a Regional Transport Organisation that performs various functions and duties as per the Motor Vehicles Act. The Government of India appoints the Transport Commissioner as the head of the Regional Transport Organisation.
One of the significant roles that an RTO plays is that it collects taxes. However, that is not all that it does. The organisation is present across all the country's major states and checks for vehicles entering the respective states.
Besides this, the RTO also checks for speeding with the help of cameras.
Likewise, the organisation has many responsibilities to handle, which you can find in the following section.
1. Responsibilities of the Regional Transport Organisation
The Regional Transport Organisation has several roles and responsibilities, including vehicle registration, issuing driving licenses, and collecting taxes. Besides this, the organisation also checks for vehicle insurance, conducts driving tests, and grants permission to drive abroad.
Other responsibilities of the RTO include keeping a record of all the registered vehicles, processing the transfer of registration, inspecting vehicles involved in accidents, conducting pollution tests, and providing badges and licenses to the auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers.
When it comes to the states, the RTO has different responsibilities to fulfil, including the collection of taxes as per the Motor Vehicles Act, implementation of the rules laid down by the central and state governments regarding the Motor Vehicles Act, and the development of road transport with the help of suitable permits.
2. Vehicle Registration
According to the Motor Vehicles Act, all vehicle owners in India must register their vehicles by visiting the nearest RTO. There are many reasons why you should register your vehicles. One of the most common reasons is that it proves the ownership of that vehicle.
When you register your vehicle, your name gets entered into the RTO records. These details are necessary and come in handy when you decide to sell the vehicle. So, without registering your vehicle or having a valid registration certificate, you cannot sell your vehicle.
The other reason you need to register your vehicle is that you will be able to track down the vehicle owner if you are in an accident.
By registering your vehicle, you are helping the Government of India keep track of all the vehicles that ply on the roads and settle the claims without any hassles when you meet with an accident.
Vehicle registration is a legal right and not a choice. So, if you don't register your vehicle as per the Motor Vehicle Act requirements, you could end up having to face legal issues.
3. Documents Required for Vehicle Registration
You can get your vehicles registered in any of the RTOs in your district. But do note that you must submit the application form within seven days after you buy the vehicle. You will need the following documents for registration.
1. The application forms
2. The sales certificate of the vehicle
3. A valid certificate of insurance
4. Two recent passport size photographs
5. The vehicle that you bought
6. The temporary registration certificate that you get from the dealer
7. The invoice for purchasing the vehicle
8. The Customs Clearance Certificate for imported vehicles
9. A copy of your PAN card in case you bought a vehicle that costs more than INR Four Lakhs
10. Proof of residence, identity, and citizenship.
4. The Vehicle Registration Process
To register your vehicle, you can visit any of the RTOs in your respective districts and submit all the necessary documents. The officials will then inspect and verify all the documents and the vehicle.
Once the verification process is complete, the authorities will assign a unique registration number. You must etch this registration number on a license plate and install it on the front and back of your vehicle.
The approval for this license plate usually takes about 30 days. Until then, you can use the receipt that you get from the RTO as proof of having registered your vehicle. Another thing that you must know regarding vehicle registration is that the registration number that the RTO provides is valid for 15 years.
So, this means that you must renew your registration number or license plate once every 15 years. The time limit for renewing the registration certificate once it expires is 30 days.
5. Temporary Registration
According to Section 43 of the Motor Vehicle Act, an RTO can also issue a temporary registration certificate for your vehicle. However, it is only possible when you decide to take the vehicle to another state.
The temporary registration number is valid only for 30 days, which means that you can take the vehicle outside of your respective state for only a month.
6. Vehicle Re-Registration
When you move to a different state, you must re-register your vehicle as per the Motor Vehicle Act's guidelines. The documents you need for re-registering your vehicle are more or less the same as those required when you register it for the first time. However, some states also ask for a NOC certificate, in addition to the regular documents.
You can get the NOC certificate from the vehicle financer by submitting the original registration certificate.
7. Personalised Vehicle Numbers
You can also customise your vehicle registration number. To do that, you must first register yourself on the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway's official website by providing all the necessary details.
If you are a government official, you can get unique registration numbers, beginning from one, and going up to 9999. But other than that, if you wish to get a personalised registration number, you must do the following:
1. Access your account on a specified date and bid on a personalized number by paying the price required for it.
2. When the results are declared, one of the two things can happen. If you win, you get the unique number that you bid. However, if you lose the bid, you will get a refund for your paid amount.
3. In case you win the bid and get a unique registration number that you bid on, you should make sure that you download and keep a copy of the allotment letter for your reference.
8. Vehicle Ownership
When you decide to sell your vehicle, you must transfer the entire ownership. Regional Transport Organisations also undertake the process of transferring the ownership of a vehicle.
To transfer your vehicle to another owner, you must visit the nearest RTO and submit the following documents.
1. The Application Form
2. NOC certificate
3. PUC certificate
4. Vehicle insurance certificate
5. Fee required to process the application
6. Road Taxes
7. The vehicle's registration certificate
8. An affidavit that proves the sale and purchase of the vehicle
9. Supporting documents and photographs for proof of age and address
Wrapping it Up
Vehicle registration is essential, and so, it is mandatory in India. When you register your vehicle as per the Motor Vehicle Act, it helps the government in many ways. For instance, it helps the RTO to settle claims when you meet with an accident. Likewise, it also helps identify the vehicle and its owner.
So, if you are looking to purchase a new vehicle, make sure to get it registered within 30 days of purchase by visiting the nearest Regional Transport Organisation.
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Q. What is RTO?
Ans. RTO stands for 'Regional Transport Organisation.' It is a body under the Government of India responsible for keeping tabs on the number and type of vehicles that ply on the roads and its owners using vehicle registration under the Motor Vehicle Act.
Q. Why Should I Get My Vehicle Registered?
Ans. According to the Motor Vehicle Act, it is mandatory to get your vehicle registered by visiting the nearest RTO. There are different reasons why you should register your vehicle. But the primary reasons include easy processing and settlement of claims when you meet with an accident and track vehicles and their owners.
Q. Is it Possible to Check the Status of Registration of My Vehicle?
Ans. Yes. You can check your vehicle's registration status by visiting the official website of the Ministry of Transport and Highway.
Q. Can I Transfer the Ownership of My Vehicle?
Ans. Yes. You can transfer the ownership of your vehicle by visiting the nearest RTO and submitting the required documents. These days, India's Government has also facilitated the transfer of vehicles’ ownership through the online mode.
So, if you are looking to sell your vehicle, you can visit the Ministry of Transport and Highway's official website and submit the required documents.